Wilson Real Estate Yakima Wa - The historic Wilson Building at 302 Yakima Ave. in downtown Yakima, Wash., on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The Capitol Theater Committee has a letter of intent with downtown property owner Larry Hull, who will work on the application. - development ideas. property (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)
YAKIMA, Wash. - Downtown property owner Larry Hull expects to spend about $3 million renovating the century-old Wilson House, which will bring a new restaurant downtown. Yakima and Neighbors will provide equipment for the Capitol Theater.
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Hull building E. Purchased at 302 Yakima Ave. for $300,000 last month, according to Yakima County Assessor's Office records.
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Earlier this year, Hull announced that it wanted to buy the building, which is owned by the Capitol Theater Committee, but it took several months to consider whether it could be restored.
Hull said he is working with a restaurant tenant that wants to take over two floors of the building. Hull declined to release the identity of the tenant. Hull also wants to add a glass floor that will serve as an event space and provide additional room for those attending concerts and other events at the Capitol Theater. Rooms 20-50 connect the third floor with the Capitol Theater.
Hull said he hopes to complete the development within two years, but many things can affect that timeline.
For one, Hull will work with the Capitol Theater Committee to raise the $500,000 cost of the sky room. He will pay for the remaining repairs.
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Capitol Theater General Manager Charlie Robin said the Capitol Theater may include the Sky Room as part of a fundraising event marking the building's 100th anniversary.
"The theater is known for what it is, its limitations are known to the community," Robin said. "I think the ability to improve access and amenities would be attractive to the community."
But while Hull's vision for renovating the building is clear, the future of Yakima Central Plaza -- the main reason Hull is continuing to renovate the Wilson Building -- is uncertain after the City Council decided on the stadium in a November vote.
Voters will decide whether to move forward with the city's plans to build an arena in a parking lot across the street from the Capitol Theater. The results of the council vote are pending.
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"It's frustrating to work on these projects and not be able to count on stability in city government," Hull said.
Hull said he was trying to be optimistic that the stadium would still be there. He cited that effort as an example of the additional development the new stadium spurs.
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